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Investigation of Centrifugal Fractionation with Time-Dependent Process Parameters as a New Approach Contributing to the Direct Recycling of Lithium-Ion Battery Components

: Sinn, Tabea; Flegler, Andreas; Wolf, Andreas; Stübinger, Thomas; Witt, Wolfgang; Nirschl, Hermann; Gleiß, Marco

Fulltext ()

Metals 10 (2020), No.12, Art. 1617, 18 pp.
ISSN: 2075-4701
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISC ()
carbon black; direct battery recycling; fractionation; LFP; lithium iron phosphate; lithium-ion battery; particle size analysis; tubular centrifuge

Recycling of lithium-ion batteries will become imperative in the future, but comprehensive and sustainable processes for this are still rather lacking. Direct recycling comprising separation of the black mass components as a key step is regarded as the most seminal approach. This paper contributes a novel approach for such separation, that is fractionation in a tubular centrifuge. An aqueous dispersion of cathode materials (lithium iron phosphate, also referred to as LFP, and carbon black) serves as exemplary feed to be fractionated, desirably resulting in a sediment of pure LFP. This paper provides a detailed study of the commonly time-dependent output of the tubular centrifuge and introduces an approach aiming to achieve constant output. Therefore, three different settings are assessed, constantly low, constantly high and an increase in rotational speed over time. Constant settings result in the predictable unsatisfactory time-variant output, whereas rotational speed increase proves to be able to maintain constant centrate properties. With further process development, the concept of fractionation in tubular centrifuges may mature into a promising separation technique for black mass in a direct recycling process chain.